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Ethical fashion debated or not at Ethical Fashion Source Summit Friday 12th of J

planB4fashion ( | 11.07.2013 18:16 | Culture | Globalisation | Other Press | London | World

What's missing from this government-subsidised list of what "ethical fashion" means?
- Fair Trade (or ethical trading), the second one would be
- Organic, manmade, bio-degradable fabrics, and the third is
- Recycling and upcycling.

Sometimes, seeing the person who disagrees with you can show more about the disagreement than reading about them. You can like them more as a person, and hear their off-the-cuff comments: what comes into their head first is probably what's most important to them.

A trade show by "Ethical Fashion Forum" who's directorship and addresses overlap with Nike consultants and part of London Fashion Week called Esthetica, is staging "masterclass", "networking", and "expert" discussions on Friday 12th at the Chrystal Conference centre next to London's cable cars in Docklands. The directors also overlap with various Defra and London College of Fashion initiatives and events, the largest of which called Creative Connexions used 80% of an available higher education budget to indroduce UK designers with Chinese manufacturers.

One former director of Ethical Fashion Forum is still co-curator of the state-subsidised London Fashion Week, in its ethical section called Esthetica. A video to rather catchy music shows an interview with her four years ago. Two minutes into the video, she states that ethical fashion to her (and she decides in this show) are threefold.

"Fair trade (or ethcal trading)"
"Organic, manmade, or biodegradable fabrics" and
"Recycling and upcyclling"...

No mention is made of what government can do in far eastern countries to improve transparency, democracy, or services like schools, hospitals, or inspections of unsafe factories by changing tariffs or adding more conditions to aid.

No mention is made of what government in the UK and other countries has done in the form of a welfare state - potentially a sales point for fashion that's made in countries like the UK, or a turn-off if buyers look at the extra price. This is strange in a taxpayer-funded event like London Fashion Week which is backed by taxpayers through Greater London Authority and the Department for Business's UK Trade and Investment.

No mention is made of the unfair relationship between workers in the UK, who's work is overpriced because of the cost of a welfare state, and workers in Bangladesh, who's work is underpriced because of the absence of a welfare state.

With luck, those who attend the £225 trade show from "the industry body for ethical fashion" will find an answer from people like Orsulana de Castro and consultants to Nike who are running the show; if not, maybe the public will tire of subsidising organisations like Esthetica at London Fashion Week and the overlapping Ethical Fashion Forum and Ethical Fashion Consultancy Ltd, and Defra payments to Monsoon to promote Indian textiles regardless of whether any indian state has free schools and hospitals.

Video link - see from 2 minutes for an interview with Orsulana de Castro

Transcript of video link - see below

My name is Orsulana de Castro and I am founder and co-curator or Esthetica, as well as designer for this label - "From Somewhere".

There are three main principals to ethical fashion. So the first one would be
Fair Trade (or ethical trading), the second one would be
Organic, manmade, bio-degradable fabrics, and the third is
Recycling and upcycling.
We are seeing the public really wanting to make a change, and wanting to utilise fashion to make a concious - physically concious - change.

We're been sponsored by Monsoon and 2009 is the fifth season, I think, that we are sponsored by Monsoon. It started off with mere financials ... but it has been wonderfull to see them grow in the project... This season for example they are doing a project with London College of Fashion and Defra, using designers in India, highlighting Indian textiles.

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Display the following 2 comments

  1. Nothing like a welfare state was mentioned - except in feedback from readers! — planB4fashion (
  2. Directions to the 2014 Ethical Fashion Source Summit at EC2A 3EA — Directions to the 2014 summit from journeyplanner


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